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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 5, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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and you remember that scene in gone with the wind where those great siege victims, rhett butler and scarlett o'hare a r. racing through the flames and the falling embers, and that was in fact as presented in the movie, was that first grade bonfire caused be departing confederate. that you might ask why isn't the fall of atlanta the most significant event in american history? why would i say more so, than say, independence day, or the fall of -- the battle of gettysburg, or the election of franklin telemark roosevelt ordered the day or v-j day? well, the fall of atlanta meant
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that the confederacy's heart had been pierced. northern peace democrat who had hoped to have a negotiated settlement to the war were finished. lincoln would win a second term. and all but the diehard confederates understood that the war was over. there was a much more war to be fought, but when sherman would make sure that the conderates who were diehard would indeed die. his march to the sea departing from atlanta at which he set off a second grade bonfire of atlanta would begin in the following november. and that was merely an clamation point on the defeat marked of the confederacy marked by the fall of atlanta. . .
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james calhoun was a slaveholder, he was the father of a badly wounded confederate captain, he fought in the tpenches that vicsburg, a man whose own nephews from atlanta were killed in vginia in the fighting, that night when the confederate army moved out and
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the union army moved in, ha had dinner with lieutenant colonel charles morris and capt. newton komi of the massachusetts volunteer infantry regiment. the captain of the day moved into calhoun city hall offic the yankees were shocked to learn that the mayor oppose secession. i am sure the mayor was equally shocked to discover that these men hated the selling of -- shelling of this city which had gone on for the past 40 days. that dinr to my mind marked the beginning of the possibility that out of the civil war, out of all that blood soaked ground,
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one nation, permanent and soluble, would truly emerged. the story of atlanta which is so central to the story of the civil war, and the story of the united states, has been plagued by too many myths in the popular imagination. we can thank that in part to margaret mitchell and gone with the wind. those myths of the genteel era of cowboy years, solid confederation protecting and endung social order, dossal slaves and self-serving carpetbaggers came down to us through the years. those were just a few of the myths that imbled over in writing this book. i am getting ahead of my story here. i came to atlanta the same way
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millions of people do, i flew here. it is the world's busiest transit hub. that was predicted when a former site, was revered by the cherokee and creek native americans as the center of the cosmos was surveyed to be the terminus of the governmt-owned railroad. you could call that the earliest government stimulus project that create atlanta. it was destined to be a transit hub from the start. it was a place in which goods coming from the mississippi valley could be shipped across george and out to the coast, and coastal goods could be shipped to the west. the trains that eventually found their way through atlanta, the four major rail line that ran through atlanta during the civil
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war still cross in the center of atlanta, you can see the trains running all the time through here. like smoke -- like most people coming through atlanta i came here on business. as a historian, i want to take some time to look around and see where the civil war had been fought. i was surprised to find there was very little evidence remaining from the civil war period. in fact, there was almost none, there were a few changes in grant park, north of here at probably close in place to find evidence of the work, the battlefield is there. many tell me stories about growing up in this city and finding civil war relics in their backyard. where i grew up in the washington d.c. area, history is
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so paable, i could ride my bike over to fort stevens and see the thought -- the spot where abraham lincoln was nearly shot, it was a short drive to the sharpsburg battlefield, the same wit manassas. it wasn't but a day trip to get to gettysburg and any number of other places. and within washington itself, there is so much evidence of the history that was the civil war. 16 that was truly gone with the wind. so i began to wonder where it had gone and i realized i needed to lk beyond the absent breang wood. i need to look at the real life as lived. i began to read papers and look
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into it and i discovered that atlanta today, this place we think of as such a dynamic business hub places continuous renewal, so chaotic, a hodgepodge of people, so racially rich, sprawled, rapid development, that atlanta was there from the very beginning. in other words, nothing was gone with the wind except some buildings and the chains of slavery. atlanta's history, really, the history of the origins of the new south hadn't been told except in fiction in many years. it is a story about people as much as it is a tale of generals and armies in battle and grant commanders. and when you think about the
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frustration the invading army feels in coming up against the ramparts that they can't reach, the terror and pity at the center of the lives of people who are being sieged, when you think of these emotional course, whether it is the greeks at troy in the trojan war work molto for the german army against stalingrad for the americans attacking baghdad, atlanta and had all of that. it had all of what i call and intimate epic to it. so i decided to tell that intimate epic in the lives of a few exemplary people in atlanta. then as now off, atlanta was a ace where a man came to make his fortune. without having to worry about
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his pa. the social hierarchy that mattered so much in the coastal areas and in the plaation regions really didn't have the same sway and atlanta. remarkably, that was as true for many blacks as it was for white frontiers men. there are two main heroes my story, whose lives crossed, remarkably, at the most romantic moments of the whole stor when th went out to surrender atlanta. one was white and a slaveholder, the other was a slave. flight man was james calhoun. the man who was the cousin of john c. calhoun. he was an oran when he left south carolina without a penny in his pocket at the age of 17
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and he rode west. he rode into the frontier. that was at the time western georgia, the boundary between the european american advance hand for the preceding indn territory. that boundary was very near atlanta. team is much like another south carolina border frontiers select n, and new jackson, who was born many years before him. he came here, he became - he was an indian fighter,e grew rich as a lawyer, then he became a politician. james calhoun had it all. and he seemed to be dtined for great things, like his cohorts in the state legislature, alexander stephens, robert combs
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and howell cobb, all of whom went on to important national office in the u.s. government prior to the civil war and played major roles in the confederate government. but james calhoun never made more than local and state office. why was that? though he supported state's rights can't considered himself a great southern patriot, he believed in the union above all. and he ded the opposition in atlanta to secession. in fact, atlanta went with him. atlanta voted very strongly against the secession candidates in the 1860 election. abraham lincoln wasn't eve on the ballot. that is only one of the paradoxes of what became the mostmportant city of the
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flower south. another came when this man who opposed secession with ected yor. four times during the war. there is another paradox of what became known as a citadel of e confederacy. slavery have only a small place in it. don't get me wrong. if a man got rich in atlanta at, he bought land and he bought slaves. still, atlanta was different from any places in the south of. railroad town was an industrial center. skilled labor was very valuable and in high demand. many slaveholders actually trained their slaves in crafts in order to hire out their time
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to factories or industrial shops and in some cases they even allowed the bondsmen to rent their labor in return for which they only asked that the bonds men pay a rent, a monthly fee, and was able to ke the rest of whatever he earned. in oer words, you might ba slave, but you could still go to a job like almost anyone else, except as a slave, it was illegal for you to have an education and you had no true freedom, wives and husbands were sold a part, cldren wrestled out of families. if a black man was caut writing a carriage through town carrying a lighted torch, being out at night without a pass, the penalty was as high as 39
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lashes. still, an industrious bondsman could work extra hard and paid beyond his brand and save money, and many did. ever skilled cobblers, carriagemakers, blacksmiths, barbers in town, whorove tir white competitors crazy. they complned to the city council, but it was such a widespread practice that the city council ignored their complaints. there was a nascent form of black liberation going on in the town. there were black institutions established here, especially churches, and the seeds of atlanta's future role as the home of the civil-rights movement were being planted. i said there wertwo heroes to my book. the other was a man named robert webster. during much of his life he was
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also called bob. he was a slave. he was born at the old nional hotel on pennsylvania avenue in washington d.c. right down from capitol hill. he called a man who frequented the hotel and word on capitol hill father. he was massachusetts's senator daniel webster. the philosophical bedrock of constitutional unionism. lk about a contrast with james have -- calhoun's cousin. there is no way to know this for sure at this int, but daniel bster was notorious as a womanizer and a drunk, as well as being one of the greatest orators in american history. he was reputed to have a mixed-race family that he
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supported. as a young boy at the national hotel, bob learned many skills, he learned cooking, barbering, he learned to get along with white society and learned to win at cards. his owner, the hotel's owner, gave him to his son, his son wasn't anywhere near as good at cards and he promptly lost bob at a game of poker. thwinner took him and auction him, this sophisticated washingtonians teenager, auction into a south carolina dirt farmer. we can only imagine the shock that young man must have felt when he found myself suddenly in south carolina. he was sold again and once more to a wealthy, politically
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connecte fats -- planters named benjamin yancey, hence his last name, until he vick back his father's name after the war. president buchanan, a predecessor to abraham lincoln, sent ben yancey to be his minister to argentina which no longer had slavery. so bent yancey send bob hawke as a barber in town in this growing city of atlanta, a very small city at that time. bob couldn't read or write, but he was a brilliant businessman. soon, this slave was running two barbershops and had 7 employees. he even bought a house, though it was illal f a slave to hold a deed and in fact, in later years, after his death,
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there was a majorispute has to to the house belonged to because there was no deed for his ownership. he made good money as a barber, and paid his rent to ben yancey, but he made even more money loansharking to the gamblers playing cards in his shop. win the r came, soldiers came through atlanta by the thousands. all those railroads running through atlanta made it vital as a transit hub for sending soldiersut to the front, and itlso ended up being the way in which soldiers, when they were wounded, came back to the hospital and came back to recover. he wasn't alone among the slaves
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who grew rich loaning money po gamblers in town. atlanta at was a hard place. in 1860, the census reported that there were nine professional gamblers in the city, 23 bar keeps and 49 admitted prostitutes. that was in 1860. that was before the army got there. needless to say, the trade flourished durg the boer. the war opened up an enormous amount of opportunity for the people of atlanta, including some of the slaves. bob and a few other bondsmen grew richer than they did through the loan sharking, what we now call currency
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arbitration. amazingly, as invisible men, these slaves could shovel into the union prison barracks, and they would bring conderate currency to the prisoners, who wanted to get conderate money in case they managed to escape, or to buy goods as they going into prison. the confederates wanted to get their hands on union greenbacks. says somebody like bob yancey could go in, trade with the union prisoners, bring it out, trade with their confederate neighbors. one slave made more than 5,000 to 6,000 confederate dollars on a good day. and claimed to have made more than 100,000 confederate dollars
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during the war. by the end of the war, shortly before the end of the war, the exchange rate was about 300 confederate dollars to onereen back. perhaps less impressive than it seems, but nonetheless a substantial amount of money. those slaves going into the union barracks, also helped the union prisers, in some cases to espe, and they also treated the wounded, often at great risk to their own lives. amazingly, after the war, robert webster, as he now insisted on being called, now free african-american, gave his former owner, ben yancey, his plantations had been devastated by the war, sent his former owner $100 in gold, and $100 in silver to get back on his feet.
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it is an indication of just how possible, even in those moments shortly after the emancipation of slaves, that tru, one nation could emerge. webster and other ex slaves supported black politicians and other institutions that were forming in atlanta, and that made atlanta a beacon for former slaves who came to town. as a result, that resulted in a very large influx of african-americans into atlanta, which has been so important to the composition of atlanta as a city. this backdrop of an antisecession city where slaves were in the process of liberating themselves, was one
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against which the confederates imposed their order. don't get me wrong, atlanta was a confederatcity. this was a city that sand, at least early in the war, more troops than any other county in the state to the confederate army. still, there with a great deal of dissent in the city and the confederate, not surprisingly, decided they needed to repress it. it often took the form of threats and violence. the confederate provost marshal, colonel george washington lee, was an atlanta barkeep who joined the confederate army and entually recruited a 700 man private army of unemployed teens
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and other slave service, and he imposed martial law on the city. it was even after mayor calhoun protesd and the confederate government in richmond agreed that martial las w unconstitutional. there was a small, active cire of unionists, many from among the business leaders in the community, who carried on a clandestine resistance and helped out jailed union prisoners and the wounded. we's men through some of them in jail, shadowed many, and beat at least one to death. mayor calhoun intervened and got the release of several who had been jailed. the war made atlanta a boom town. it was far removed from the front, so it was a place to
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which the confederates -- the confederate army set up munitions factories and contract out for a variety of things, artillery, iron plating, swords, thousands of peoplfrom the countryside to the jobs. there were 11,000 people at the start of the war in atlanta, and tens of thousands more passing through. the population doubled within one year to closer to 25,000. atlanta was a boom town, it had -- the chamber of commerce to their counterparts declaring themselves the center of the new
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nation open for business with all lands and informing the london chamber of commerce that new york city, meanwhile, had grown inoperative. atlanta was indeed the new nation's center for business. through the first three years of war, atlanta was well removed from the front. so it became a thriving place, a place that troops passed through and spend money and refugees arrived by the hundreds each day. more and more, as the union army advance into tennessee and into mississippi and along the coast, the result was dhat the city became ireasingly chaotic. crime became rampant, poor sanitation was a big problem and eventually epidemics of scarlet fever and smallpox broke out.
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but atlantis' still seemed to be a refuge from war. by january 18, '64, general sherman in tennessee had atlanta in his sights. the union army which had fumbled for the first three years of war, finally under the new commander, general ulysses s. grant, decided it was time for a coordinated strategy. grant would command the army in virginia, the union army in virginia to attack infringement, grant's protege would lead the army in attacking georgia, with atlanta as his goal. sherman get it 110,000 to for the invasion, they faced off against fewer than 60,000 confederate defenders.
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confederates defended their homeland, so they had that in advantage, that they were cotantly fighting behind fortifications. however, they were badly overmatched. they fought and fell back. sherman did not want to hit the confederates head on, so he is continuously engaged in other operations using his superior numbers to hold the confederate army in place while trying to jeff flock from behind to deliver a death blow. it is more like a ultimate fighting like we see on television now. there is one man who has the other in a death grip around the neck, and one in the death grip
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is cstantly trying to hammer is way out. this was work, this was not a dance. the army of tennessee, the confederate army of tennessee fell back, fought and fell back. the army never lost a battle, d in fact, at the mountain battle line, inflicted grave casualties on the union army. , but each time, the union army dance around them. , then they were forced to fall back, and they fell back all the way behind the chattahoochee river and eventually into the ramparts surrounding atlanta. those were earthworks, miles, a ten mile circle built by slave
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labor, massive clay mounds with reinforced forts for artillery emplacements, with a killing field cut in front of the ramparts, with tree branches shaved and pointed out towards any attacker. chairman's army could not get through. it was -- the battle resulted very much like what would occur 50 years later during world war i, the trench warfare we associate with that. general sherman decided in early august -- general johnston, commander of the army of tennessee, was eventually released by president jefferson
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davis. he had been carrying on a strategy of trying to fall back in the hopes of reaching a point at which he could defend his army so successfully, in such a successful defense placement that the union army effectively be bled to death. once he fell back into atlanta it became clear that he would abandon atlanta, and president jefferson davis said that is enough and he turned to general john bell hood, o was the picture of confederate general. he had a gray beard down to his chest,e was missing a leg from battle, he had one arm that could not be used, it had been shattered in battle, had to be lifted up and tied onto his
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horse but that spirit of gressiveness is something that the army was prepared for. he carried on several battles in which he darted out, he sent his army out from the ramparts, battled atlanta, being the most famous peachtree creek, this series of battles resulted in a horrific and confederate casualties. they retreated back within the ramparts and at that point general sherman began his siege, bringing in guns, shelling the city. he lied. he said there were no civilians in atlanta. his officers told him that they could hear people screaming in town. for nearly 40 days, shelling rained down on atlanta.
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5,000 shells every day. tell you a little bit abo what that was like, let me read from the book. the canon fire, mostly damaged property, but people died too. in the first days of the siege, a shell came down at the corner of whitehall and alabama street, when solomon lucky happened to walk out of his nearby barbershop. the popular barber was among the handful of 3 blacks in e city, the shell bounced off of one of the long extinguished gas lampposts to be found in atlanta. it ricocheted off of the street before exploding. flames shot out around a crowded corner, one ripped into the unfortunate lucky's leg, several passers-by picked up the badly wounded man and took him to a
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hospital where, despite a surge in cutting off the main leg, he soon bled to death. john warner, the superintendent of the defunct atlanta gas works, remained a union loyalist, despite having been briefly forced into confederate service. during a furlough home, he deserted. now he hoped to hide out from the conscript officers looking for him until he could flee north with his eight-year-old daughter. , women who helped take care of the girl recalled, the offics within, threatening his life. the first union can quickly drove the household members under ground. 48 feet down a ladder, in the well t a no quarter had carved into its side. out of fear that conscript officers would come looking for him in the night, he descended in sun said to the underground space with his daughter as servant members of the
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households left in their own beds. in the first weeks of august, live lizzy fell ill and warner, fearing the dampness of the well with sinn feint -- worsen the sickness of the girl, returned to his bed with his daughter beside him. in the middle of the night, the woman awoke with a start, to the sound of groaning coming from waer's room, she rushed in to find room demolied and a hot shell flying not exploded on the floor. the bomb had plunged through the bed, killing the little girl instantly. her father lay there with both his legs severed, he had a few minutes to write out his will before he too died. heavy bombardment commenced shortly after that, with t distraught servant wrote, the missiles of death flying in every direction, she left the pair lying in their blood soaked deathbed, she grabbed her own
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young son, sleeping soundly in bed and dragged him down a ladder to the shelter deep in the well. once there, she fell apart. i sat down and wept, cryingt the top of my voice, but there was no one to come to my relief or even to hear me. general sherman's mental stability was questioned early in the war, he may have suffered a nervous breakdown. he was a person constantly in motion. he was nervous, he moved all the time, he spoke so rapidly, he was a brilliant man, but he was completely impatient. with men continuing to die or fall out every day, his progress halted, he came to view the
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siege as a personalaffront, he was losing his detachments and wanted vengeance on the city. he raised, this city has done and contributed more to carry on and sustain the war than any others. we have been fighting atlanta all the time in the past, capturing guns, wagons, and made here all the time, now, since they have done so much to destroy us and our government, we have to destroy them. he understood as well that culmination of the siege and eventual contest at atlanta became political imperative. he was about the business of convincing the rebel soldiers that the federal army could outlast them and the destruction should it continue re. he was a person widely read in the classics, and understood the
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significance of what he was doing, he understood that it was a fight for the ages. he shared his sentiments with ulysses s. grant. any sign of aye that up on our part, he wrot is sure to be falsely construed. for this reason i have always reminded the confederates that the siege of 4 lasted six years and atlanta is a more valuable talent than troy. he would outlast them and out fight them down to the last man. i am going to conclude with one more bit because something amazing happened, as amazing as the trojan horse arriving at the gates of fully. on friday, august th, atlanta
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woke up startled. they listened intently to something they had not heard in months. silence. no gun fire, not a single can report. everything is as still as death this morning and has been since 3:00 this morning, a stunned holliday, a militiaman wrote in wonder. michelle ng ceased altogether, recorded samue richards, an atlanta businessman, not long after. rumors flew that the enemy was retreating and had deserted their camps around the city. that morning, gray coate scouts fought their way forward expecting shots to wring out at any incident until they scrambled into the emp union lines. finally, an ecstatic militiaman holiday, confirm the rumors,
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sherman is compelled to fall back for want of supplies for his army. the yanks are gone and they are not likely to return soon. baffled, stunned, delighted, atlanta streamed out of their shelters and walked and rode to the lines, thousands of tourists venture through the fields to inspect the camps and pick up souvenirs. holiday scoffed when he saw them riding in buddies with white linen coats on. where, he aske where they in their holes in the city? the fight apparently won, he began to dream of going home. i am coming home, and play with my wife and babies and sleep on a featherbed too. won't that -- won't that be a great luxury when i get used to? i reminded of eating strawberes and cream with plenty of sugar mixed in. over the next two days, the
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atlanta intelligence, the leading confederate newspaper, correspondent, explored all over the yankee works. i did not see a yankee and all of my rambles. it is said d&b haq msed his forc on our left, but i doubt that very much. i am of the opinion that the yankee army is on the western banks of the chattahoochee river. atlanta was reborn. the city, he reported, has already begun to fill up. to day, the streets are as crowded as ty were of old, officers, soldiers, citizens, women, children, and negro's are crowding on the street and everybody wears a smile on their countenance. however, walking through the desolate union camp, he found a note written in large, bold hand with kohl on the headboard of one of the yankee books.
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it read goodbye, johnnie, we are going to see you soon and when we come to georgia, we will remember keenness off, signed yank. thank you very much. [applause] saleh promised me this is a very intelligent audience, so please don't undermine my claim to intelligence too much. i welcome your questions. do we need to have people use the microphone? thank you. >> reading of the warner's death on the night of august 3rd, the most detailed we have read in
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confederate newspapers or other sources, congratulations, sir. i have bought your book. can i send yoan e-mail and will you share your sources? >> i believe that that, along with virtually everything else in the book that is in any way sourceable, has been sourced. the footnotes are there. i am more than happy to get into any -- afterwards i will be available, signing books. please come up and i will give you my e-mail address as long as you promise not to put me on any spam lists. yes, sir? >> how did they start? >> as quickly as possible, they
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converted it to gold. then they would put it in their mattresses, in many cases they actually bought goodsnd tried to turn it into real goods. one of the slaves who is most active in the currency trading after the war, according to his sudden claims commission, which are at the national archives, there are papers from southerners whose property was confiscate by the union army but who claimed not to have supported the confederates, and they made claims for restitution, and one of these listed an incredie amount of goods, hey, hogs, bacon, horses
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and buggies, 14,000 bales of fodder, and entire storehouse of goods that he had. when the union army occupied atlanta, they really dn't care what your loyalties had been, they took whater they wanted. in many of those cases they los everything. in some cases they came through with some money and goods. much of it was lost and taken by the union army. >> i am a little confused by the paradox of having the black barber wanting the greenbacks but the union prisoners wanted the confederate money. if they live in the same economic million, up it is more precious and keen that the greenbks are worth a lot more
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money? >> the population of atlanta, especially as the war went along, began to realize anybody who did not close their eyes and bld themselves completely, began to realize that the nfederate cause was unlikely to survive. they also saw that it the worst inflation in american history was rampant. greenbacks, union dollars, cld still be traded in the north for species. they understood that u.s. dollar's continued to hold value and there was an unerground economy that accepted greenback currency although it was illegal.
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r the union soldiers, the principal way in which they could rchase things was through confederate money. it was still the standard currency of the land. i hope that answers your question. yes, sir, please? >> did general sherman ever look at atlanta, the declaration upon achieving his goal? >> yes. he made himself quite at home in atlanta. when he was outside atlan, the day of the surrender to the south around the town of jonesborough, he eventually made his way into the city a few days
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later. before he even got there he dave--david telegraph to president lincoln saying at land is ours, those words, simple words went out to newspapers throughout the north. he moved into town, took up redence in a mansioj on city hall square at the corner of washington and mitchell street and within a few days issued an order eelling the entire civilian population of atlanta. half of the population chose to go south and there was an armiste declared with general hood's army. they chose to go south. many went to the south of georgia. nearly half of the population remained, many of whom in many
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cases were union loyalists, chose to go north and received free passage to the north. general sherman decided his army was exhausted, they had bee fighting for 100 continuous days. he decided it was time to rest. he had evacuated the civilian population because he wanted tg turn it into a place where his men coulrelax. everyday ocity hall square, bans played, he sat outside and smoke, the union soldiers who had been living in burke for months stayed clean and date well, they send out for jurors into t countryside, came back loaded down with everythinthey could take from surrounding farms and it s a good time to be a union soldier in atlanta.
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>> the using clinton would have lost the election effect and the have not fallen? >> my understanding is lincoln thought he would lose the election. he wrote a memorandum stating that. my understanding of the way the political situation was shaping out, is highly unlikely he would have lost the election, he would not have lost the a eleoral college. that said, it was more than a question of the election, the northern peace democrats and their prospects for possible victory will lead the southern resistance. it was a way in which people in the confederacy could hold onto a shd of hope that a
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negotiated settlent might be possible, that if by not losing, the south could win. unlikely that lincoln would have lost, but it might not have mattered. anybody else? yes, please. >> mayor calhoun actlly be sherman? >> yes. i don't know the specifics of their meeting. mayor calhoun was accused in the pages of the atlanta intelligence of attending a dance with general sherman and others, making lively with the union army. that wouldn't have been possible because of the day today say the dance took place, he is out in the field. mayor calhoun wrote a letr to
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genel sherman begging him not to require the civilians to evacuate, saying there were sick people, old people, pregnant women, general sherman wrote back this perful letter, talking about the necessity of cruelty, he said war is cruelty and you cannot refine it. he said at this point you might as well appeal to the thunder storm as appeal to stop this war. the way this war will stop is when the confederates or the south stop fighting. in later years, amazingly, general sherman came back to atlanta, 15 years after the war. he came back on a tour of the south d when he arrived in atlanta received a unmuted
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but not hostile welcome. it was after the end of reconstruction, it was before sherman as the devil was -- the wide reputation he had gotten, or that he came to have. he was commander of the united states army at that point, and he brought his two daughters with him, came in without any soldrs surrounding him. he arrived at the railroad station wherhe had pulled down when he departed on his march for the city. the man who met him there was william calhoun, james calhoun's son, was now the mayor of atlanta, the man who had fought acainst sherman's army in been grievously wounded, welcome him to the city. one person as they waited for his train to arrive, one person
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asked are you going to give him the freedom of the city? another person yell out he already made you free the last time he was here. heat for around, admired the sea, visited many of the sit that he had fought over, and he fell to entirely welcome. again, that is an iication that out of that civil war came the possibility for a true united states. >> one more question rht here? >> was there coercion? >> the question is how extensive was the devastation to the city. any houses, any buildings near
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the ramparts near those fortifications wereeavily, heavily damaged, in many cases destroyed just threw the fighting that went across those ramparts, the firing that went ba and forth, the shelling itself inside the ty did a lot of damage, but remarkably, when you look at the photographs, the damage is not that visib. there was damage, the confederate writing off of the munitions train when they left, level that area for a quarter mile around t train in al directions, look at the photographs along the georgia railroad, the the photographs from that, the devastation is total. when thenion army departed in november in preparation, right before the march to the sea,
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general sherman had all major buildings in the downtown area, anything that could be used to house large nbers of troops or some way to support the confederate army when, as he knew, they would return, he had the pull down, there was an engineering crew that went around knocking down buildings, thold train station w a vast, faulted station on piers, they set up a vaulted cream system where they took rails and granted them into the gears until the whole thing toppled over. after that, they set on fire many of the buildings in downtown area. it was a great and tremendous fire. interestingly, most of the churches were scared, city hall
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was scared, most of the finer houses to the south side of the city were scared but the devastation was quite extensive. it wasn't like we now think of kind o reveling that took place following aerial bombardment during world war ii or those images of flat and rebel in world war i. but especially in the downtown area and along the georgia railroad it was massive devastation. there was not much in habitable. when people started to return after general sherman left, people or living in lean tos and kents and makeshift shelrs.
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thank you. [applause] >> marc wortman is the author "the millionaires' unit: the aristocratic flyboys who fought the great war and invented american air power" and the aristocratic flyboys, the atlanta history center hosted this event. visit atlanta atat >> what is the best way to secure america? tom ridge tes an inside the terrorist threat, his tenure as first@of homeland security, part of a three daybook tv weekend tonight on c-span2. lessons in leadership from the more head of the middl east, retired general tony on how leaders and organizations can best respond to the trends reshaping the world. ..


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